How we pay for MMOs is something that has evolved in waves with free to play and subscription models being the most common. The F2P model lets players try a game and play it with the limitations of a free game, while still giving players the option to pay and gain access to most, or all, things. The subscription model gives you all content, and everything added to the game, included in that fee. While they both come with their positive and negative points, the F2P and subscription models seem to appear less and less, especially for subscription. Emerging from the two models is the buy to play model, which is the oldest and most used one when looking at gaming in general. Seeing how the majority of games use this model, it is a little surprising that it is becoming this popular with MMOs so late. Still, it is an emerging model that is here to stay and maybe even take over, that is why we give you this list of 7 reasons why B2P is the future for online games.
Playing More Than One Game
The number of games being released is growing like never before and so is the game playing audience. This means that there are a lot more games out there that might appeal to a gamer, but time and money does not grow on trees. Playing subscription based games can have a psychological effect wherein you feel you have to play that game more than you might want to since you are paying for it. But if you get a B2P game you can play that a little and play another game a little without feeling like your money is running into the sand. This allows for an MMO to keep all of its online aspects but also lets you play the game at the speed you want to without feeling like you are losing on it.
A Bigger Demographic
The MMO audience has always been kind of niche and though it is a large niche, it is still small in comparison to other games. This is mostly because of how much game mechanics can change, but there is also a big group of players who do not see any point in buying something that you will have to continue paying for. By giving a game a B2P payment model, this grants the possibility of bringing new players to the genre as it is the only perceived payment for the game, and thus widening the pool of players for any given MMO.
Ownership of the Game
In today’s world, having full ownership of the games you buy has always been a strong argument for why the subscription model doesn’t work. Imagine the uproar if the first 30 days of Netflix cost $50 and after that time you wouldn’t get anything else out of it without a recurring subscription. The reason for ownership to be on our list for why B2P is the future for online games is because the business model lets you do what you want with your product. Once you buy it you can play it whenever and it is fully yours. A subscription model only lets you play the game if you continue paying for it and the money you pay up front doesn’t matter at all after the first 30 days. In the F2P model the subscription fits much better since you can try out things endlessly and pay for it if you want more. But in terms of buyable products, B2P follows the gaming industries standards.
Subscription Model is Blasé
Been there done that is the running theme of the subscription model. It began when technology wasn’t quite as advanced as it is right now which made things like server hosting costs much more expensive. But seeing how that is not as big a problem today and how DLC and expansions are growing much stronger, the subscription model is very blasé. It is time for the industry to move forward and let the players decide on the games they have bought and that is why B2P is the future for online games.
Shifting Economical Climate
We live in a very shifting economical climate, both when it comes to the world around us with the financial crisis coming and going, but also in how the gaming industry is evolving with new models. The rise of DLC and the return of full-fledged expansions is something which asks the players to pump in more money to a single game. It is a monetization method that works best with B2P games since that model is the same for all games no matter the genre. Paying for a subscription and not getting access to all new content really just doesn’t add up economically for anyone aside from the developers/publishers.
Free to Play Has Never Really Worked
While the core ideas behind F2P are good, the implementation of it has always been crackling full of holes. Video gaming is an industry, one that needs to make money from games in order to survive. The way F2P games have worked over the years has been more a pay to win version that has been about a subscription service with free content. Seeing how big names in the online industry are moving towards B2P instead of F2P, with Overwatch being a prime example, it is easy to see why B2P is the future for online games.
Developers Are Learning How to Do It Right
Last on our list of reasons why B2P is the future for online games, and maybe the most important one for us gamers, is that developers and publishers are quite simply starting to do B2P right. Getting a new payment model working will always take time and failures before a working model is born, and we seem to be reaching that point now. We are getting games that are full of content without the pay to win that are fully B2P, and this is achieved by offering more cosmetic options for characters, but for the most part we are moving towards having new content appear in the forms of DLC and expansions, making it possible for us as players to choose what we want to spend money on within the games we own.Related: Article, B2P, Listed, MMO, MMORPG